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Draper's death leaves Leopards without their Pap

August 15, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

For the past 25 years, Carroll W. "Pap" Draper and the female athletes at Smithsburg High School had a real "lovefest."

In fact, Draper was such a fan that the Smithsburg girls basketball coaching staff and players decided to name a hoops tournament in his honor.

Smithsburg athletic director Teresa Bachtell said Draper - who died Sunday at the Fahrney-Keedy Nursing Home near Boonsboro at age 88 - was a genuine fan.

"He was unique. Let's face it, there's not too many men who would follow girls sports the way Pap did," Bachtell said. "He loved following the girls volleyball and basketball programs. When my brother (Jimmy Powell) and I were coaching the girls basketball team, we decided to name a tournament after Pap. And he was delighted."

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The Pap Draper Invitational Basketball Tournament is now 10 years old.

"He was Smithsburg's biggest fan," Bachtell said. "Pap first started to attend sporting events when his granddaughter, Mindie Grabill, competed. And then he would follow great-granddaughter, Mandie Conway. He was a unique individual who had a great dry sense of humor."

Bachtell said he was truly well liked by the junior varsity and varsity players.

"The varsity team would sit with him during the junior varsity games and the junior varsity team would do the same during the varsity games," Bachtell said. "He was a big part of Smithsburg athletics. He would travel quite a distance for our away games - I couldn't tell you how many times he joined us in Garrett County - and the girls and coaching staff certainly appreciated his support. We would always make sure he had a ride to the games."

Terri Martin was another close friend of Draper and often provided transportation to the away games.

"Over the years, my husband (Dean) was a coach for the junior varsity team and I helped as a scorekeeper," Martin said. "I saw Pap at all the home games and asked him if he would like to attend the away games. I always drove instead of taking the team bus. He was a good companion, my sidekick, and a dear, loving man. He will be greatly missed."

Bachtell thinks Draper first became interested in the girls athletics in the early 1980s.

"It started with girls volleyball, then he took to girls basketball," Bachtell said."He followed Smithsburg sports for a long, long time.

"He was still playing a little golf as late as two years ago," Bachtell said. "I knew things were getting more difficult, though, when he didn't attend the 2006 tournament."

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at J.L. Davis Funeral Home in Smithsburg. The family will receive friends today from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

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